Book Review: ‘Divorce is Normal’ by Shasvathi Siva

Breaking the Silence: Embracing Divorce as a Normal Part of Life

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Book Title: Divorce is Normal
Author: Shasvathi Siva
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Number of Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-0143454670
Date Published: Jan. 1, 2023
Price: INR 279

Divorce Is Normal by Shasvathi Siva

Book Review

In “Divorce is Normal” by Shasvathi Siva, readers are offered a valuable resource that provides deep insights into unhappy marriages and divorce, particularly within the Indian context. This book not only serves as a guide for those contemplating separation or divorce but also as a compelling reminder that divorce is, in fact, a normal part of life. It strives to break down the societal stigma surrounding divorce and encourages a brighter, more accepting perspective on this critical life event.

Shasvathi Siva, the author of this enlightening book, embarked on her journey to destigmatize divorce and normalize it after her own experience. In a moment of candid reflection, she shared a picture of a ring that had once adorned her finger, accompanied by the hashtags #happilydivorced and #divorceisnormal. She recounted when, in 2017, she removed her engagement ring after wearing it continuously for 31 months, expecting a sense of empowerment but feeling emptiness instead. This book emerges from her courageous journey, aiming to shed light on the nuances of unhappy marriages and divorces in India and expand the horizons of those who engage with it.

Through the book “Divorce is Normal,” Shasvathi Siva underscores the imperative need to end the silence surrounding divorce and divorced people. In particular, she emphasizes the importance of providing support and understanding to women trapped in abusive marriages. Society often judges and ostracizes these women when they decide to walk away, regardless of the toxicity of their marital situations.

Shasvathi’s experiences with divorce in 2019 motivated her to challenge this judgment and stigma. She underscores the critical point that the silence around divorce perpetuates this social stigma, and it’s essential to open up dialogues and conversations around this topic.

As a copywriter and part-time entrepreneur, Shasvathi Siva founded the “Divorce Is Normal” support group to initiate the change she desired in the narratives surrounding divorce. She recognized the dire need for a platform where women could openly discuss the issues leading to divorce and share their experiences. The divorce period is often tumultuous, marked by feelings of isolation, shame, judgment, and an uncertain future. Shasvathi’s efforts in breaking this silence regarding divorce were met with surprise and resistance by some who considered it a shameful and undesirable topic of conversation.

Siva’s debut book, “Divorce is Normal,” is a significant extension of her mission to transform women’s experiences navigating the challenging journey of divorce. It is an illuminating guide, drawing insights from lawyers, therapists, divorce survivors (a term she prefers over ‘divorcees’ as it doesn’t define one by their past), and children of divorce. In addition, the book incorporates her narrative of divorce.

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A practical tone provides a roadmap for those considering or going through a divorce; individuals stuck in unhappy marriages, or those supporting loved ones undergoing these challenging life transitions. “Divorce is Normal” emerges as a beacon of hope and a source of strength for anyone seeking a way out of the darkness often associated with divorce and separation.

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